Here is the full transcript of speaker, trainer, and author Amy Scott’s TEDx Talk: Build, Don’t Break Relationships With Communication – Connect The Dots at TEDxQueenstown conference. This event occurred on April 17, 2016.
Amy Scott – Speaker, trainer, and author
Wow! Thanks. What if your natural communication style is crippling your relationships? What if the way that you naturally process information is doing more harm than good? What if every time you opened your mouth or just walked into a room, you caused damage?
Your communication style is the biggest bio-hazard to your relationships. Now, there’s something really beautiful about small ideas that are simple to apply. And ladies and gentlemen, I have the privilege today of sharing with you a small idea that was created right here in Atohira, right here in New Zealand. I haven’t got much time, but I’m going to take you on a bit of a journey. I want you to get a sense of your natural communication style so you can remove some of the risk to your relationships.
Because communication is vital in truly connecting with people. Of course, there are other components: courage, compassion, commitment, curiosity. But let’s start today with an easy bit; let’s start with communication.
Now, David Dixon is the Kiwi who spent over 25 years researching different personality profiling systems and different communication models from all around the world. And in true New Zealand style, he basically said, “If you get rid of the fluff and the hype” – I think he used a different word; it started with “bull” – “If you get rid of the fluff and the hype, what it comes down to is we are a combination of these four different communication styles. You cannot be just one. And none are better or worse than the others.”
Of course, he looked at Myers-Briggs. Of course, he looked at TMI and DISC, Personality Plus, teacher MAPping, Hermann’s. He even looked at the Simpsons.
So, strap yourself in, what I want to do is give you enough information in this session, to get a sense of what your natural communication style is. Okay. In fact, famous Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, it was him that said, “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
Having been a lawyer, a family lawyer, I can certainly say that I’ve seen the very real effects of miscommunication. So, I’m going to talk to you about the simple New Zealand tool, called DOTS.
Now, just before I start, for some of you, you need a more technical term or something that sounds a bit more scientific because DOTS sounds a bit babyish. You are quite red in your thinking. So, what I’m talking about this afternoon is precognitive communication. It’s the study of the way that we process our thoughts. Some of you process thoughts by talking. A lot. There’s a few of you here.
Some of you process by thinking things through thoroughly. Some of you process by turning the things that you’re hearing, the words, into pictures inside your mind. And some of you process by simply getting a feel for what’s occurring. It’s hard to put that into words. It’s more of an intuitive process.
I’m going to start with the beautiful purple dots. People who are strong and purple talk a lot. Thoughts and ideas are constantly popping into their mind. There is no stopping and thinking. It pops into their mind and straight out their mouth. These people are interested in the “what” in any communication. What do you want? Don’t tell me why – not interested – what do you want from me? Don’t tell me, as a purple dot, how to do it. If you tell me how to do it, I will deliberately not do it that way.
And can I assure you that not every teenager is purple? Okay, so, they have ideas; they are great at starting projects. These people are high energy. You’ll know if you are sharing an office with a purple dot. Because you’ll hear them, and they’ll probably be in the office by themselves.
Contrast our beautiful purple dot with the red dot. Red dots do not open their mouth until they have thoroughly thought it through. It will add up; it will make sense. They talk in bullet points: “Yep” “Nope” “Go away”.
Can you imagine, ladies and gentlemen, just with that little bit of knowledge. A beautiful purple dot and a red dot traveling to stunning Invercargill. We’re talking about a two-hour car journey. Purple dot, blissfully unaware: “Chat, chat, chat, chat, chat”. All the red dot wants to do is kill and maim.
And that’s before they’ve even got to Invercargill. So red dots are interested in facts and figures. And they are quite straight up in their approach: “A spade is a spade”. The other people in your organization sit quite like organizational charts, where it sets out logically where everyone fits in. It’s beautiful.
So, they’re listening in any communication for the where. Where they fit. Purple dots are listening for the what. Red dots are listening for the where. Yellow dots naturally process information by turning everything you say to them into pictures inside their mind. These people like their environment to be neat and tidy. They can spot a spelling mistake from 30 kilometers away. Now, that’s a gift. And if you’re living – here’s a wee tip – if any of you are living with a yellow dot, and they set the table a certain way, don’t mess with it.
Yellow dots are listening in any communication for the when. When? When? When? Time is very important for these people. If they say 10 AM, they mean 9:59. For a purple dot to get to a meeting, if they get there within ten minutes, they think they are on time. Uhuh, I ‘m feeling the pain of the yellow dots, married to purple dots. So, yellow dots, they want lots of data so they can build pictures, and time is really important to them.
You can spot the yellow dot in the workplace. They are people that will be putting up signs reminding other people to clear away the coffee cups. Or clear out the dishwasher. Meanwhile, the blue dot team members will be quietly putting the cups away. Because they want to keep the peace and just get it done.
So, our blue dots, last, but certainly not least, they process information by turning everything you say to them into feelings and sensations. So, they’re processing almost through their body. It’s part of a heart-based process. These people are hands-on. They like to finish things and have everything go well. They’re excellent team players. They like to get their hands dirty, if you like, or hands-on stuff: in the garden, fix cars.
In any communication, the blue dot is listening for the “why” Why? Why? Why? They need to feel comfortable before they’re going to start a task or do what it is that you’re requesting them to do. Now, with that little bit of information: Picture for me a red dot parent that wants to get stuff done. And a blue dot child, that’s just trying to get a feel and might not be quite ready to move.
And the blue dot child might unwittingly ask, “Why?” And the red dot parent might find that to be a bit disrespectful: “Just get on with it!” But for the blue dot child, that’s not being disrespectful. They’re seriously just getting a feel for what’s required.
Communication is vital to truly connecting with other people. And I’ve just given you a short taste of the different dots, today: A simple, New Zealand-made communication tool that can help you get on to somebody else’s wavelength.
Because what I’m talking about is your communication style, without you even realizing, may be causing the people around you to judge you or mis-perceive your intentions. Imagine if everyone in the whole wide world could communicate more effectively. What a legacy we could leave. I find that exciting.
My question for each of you today, because it is my belief, if all we do is to use dots to communicate more effectively, what an incredible difference this little tool from New Zealand could make. My question, ladies and gentlemen: What dot are you? Thank you so very much.